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cause of our falvation. That they are, I have en- SER M. deavoured to prove from fcripture; and for the farther clearing of it, I defire that the nature of the gofpel-covenant may be well confidered, which I take to be this. On GoD's part there are certain benefits promised, juftification, and pardon of fin, and eternal life and falvation. On our part there are certain conditions required before we can be made partakers of those benefits: these are, to affent to the truth of the gospel, trusting in CHRIST as our only SAVIOUR, repentance from dead works, and a fincere purpofe and refolution of obededience, and a holy life; thefe make up the whole and entire condition of the gospel, and are often expreffed by this one word, faith, which fignifies the whole duty of a chriftian; because he that truly believes the gofpel, will do whatever the gofpel requires. And hence it is, that to be a chriftian, and to be a believer, are in the phrase of the new teftament all one. Now the matter in controverfy is plainly this; whether this whole condition be required of us in order to our pardon and juftification, as well as in order to our falvation. That repentance, and obedience, and holinefs of life are. conditions of our falvation, I think is univerfally agreed; I am fure it is clearly expreffed in these two texts, "CHRIST is the author of eternal falvation to "them that obey him," Heb. v. 9. "Without ho"liness no man fhall fee the LORD," Heb. xii. 14. And that the conditions of our juftification and falvation are the fame, I think is every whit as clear both from scripture, and from the general acknowledgment of divines by neceffary confequence. From fcripture, St. James fays, that the fame thing that justifies us, faves us: for when he difputes, whether we are juftified by faith only, or by faith and works,


SER M. he hath this expreffion," What doth it profit, my


brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and "have not works? can works fave him?" From whence the inference is plain, that upon the very fame condition that we are juftified, we are faved. And it is evident by neceffary confequence from the general acknowledgment of divines; for I think this is univerfally agreed by divines, that whatever puts a man into a state of juftification and pardon, puts a man into a state of falvation; and if this be true, it neceffarily follows, that the conditions of our justification and falvation are the fame: and if affent to the truth of the gospel, and truft in CHRIST as our only SAVIOUR, be the only conditions of our justification, then they are the only conditions of our falvation; and repentance and obedience are not conditions of our falvation: but if they be conditions of our falvation, then they are of our juftification. And I will be bold to fay, that this hath as much of demonftration in it as any thing in divinity is capable of; and I wonder extremely how any man, that confiders the nature of the gofpel-covenant, can imagine that we should be made partakers of any bleffing or benefit promised in the covenant, without performing the whole condition of the covenant.

And now if any man afk, cui bono? to what end is all this? Suppofe it be true, to what purpofe is it to awaken differences, and ftir up controverfies about thefe matters? In order to thefe two ends, which I take to be very confiderable.

1. That we may be able to answer the Papists, who charge us with Solifidianifm; as if we were of this opinion, that if a man do but trust in CHRIST, that is, be but confidently perfuaded that he will fave him and pardon him, this is fufficient; and confe



quently he that is thus perfuaded need not take any SER M. farther care of his falvation, but may live as he lift. And I do not fee how this can be avoided; especially if this be true, which our divines univerfally affert, that whatever puts a man into a juftified state, puts him into a state of falvation: I fay, I do not fee how this charge can be avoided, unless we own holiness and obedience to be conditions of our juftification, as well as trust in CHRIST. I know no other middle way between Popery and Antinomianifm. But,

2. Which is more confiderable, without this we can give no fatisfactory and reasonable account of our religion to a heathen. Suppofe a heathen should fay thus, your religion gives a very good account of the corruption and finfulness of mankind, and hath provided a very probable remedy for the expiation of it, by the death of the Son of GOD: but this feems to me very unreasonable, and to contradict the most natural notions that we have of God's juftice and holiness, that he should pardon men, as you fay he does, though they do not repent of their fins, nor are refolved to leave them, nay, though they be refolved to go on in a wicked courfe. Did ever any wife prince pardon a traitor upon thefe terms? But whoever fays that repentance, and a fincere purpose and refolution of obedience are not the condition of our pardon, fays that God will pardon men without repentance, though they are not at all forry for what they have done, nor refolved to change their courfe: for that is a condition without which a thing cannot be; and if repentance be not a condition of pardon, a man may be pardoned without it. And if this be true, chriftianity is the moft lewd and fenfelefs doctrine in the world. For what can be a greater encouragement to fin than this, to tell men that they


SERM. may be pardoned without repentance; that is, CCXXVIII. though they live in fin, and continue fo to do. Pa

ganisin never taught any such thing. Nay, they may add farther, that this which you teach as the doctrine of your religion, seems exprefly contrary to your own books, which you fay contain your religion. Does not the bible fay, that " he that confes"feth and forfaketh his fin, fhall find mercy ?” And doth not this plainly imply, that repentance is a condition of pardon? "Let the wicked forfake "his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, "and let him return unto the LORD, and he will

have mercy upon him; and to our GoD, for he "will abundantly pardon." Doth it not fay, that "if you forgive not men their trefpaffes, neither "will your heavenly Father forgive you?" Can any words more plainly exprefs a condition than these do? How fhould we be able to defend our religion against fuch an affault, unless we difclaim this charge, and tell them plainly, and without a distinction, that our religion teacheth that repentance and refolution of holiness and obedience are conditions of our pardon and juftification? I would to God men would confult the honour of christianity, and when they hold any opinion, they would not confider the intereft of a party, but the univerfal concernment of the chriftian religion. If we had to deal with fubtile heathens, as the primitive fathers of the church had, we fhould fee a neceffity of laying afide fuch unreasonable opinions. I would fain have any man fhew any one clear paffage out of any of the ancient fathers and writers concerning chriftian religion, which fays, that truft in CHRIST for falvation is the only condition of our juftification, and that repentance and obedience are not; or that explains juftification by


faith alone, in this fenfe. I know it is ufually faid, SER M. the ancient fathers and Chriftians were ignorant of the doctrine of juftification, in a great measure, and knew very little of the mystery of the gospel. I know not what they mean by mystery: but I am fure they defined chriftian religion better, and gave a more reasonable and fatisfactory account of it, than any of thofe do, who are fo apt to flight them.

The use of this doctrine is as follows.

First, to perfuade men to place all their hope and confidence of falvation in JESUS CHRIST the Son of GOD; that is, to believe that through the alone merit of his death and fufferings, GoD is reconciled to us, and that only upon the account of the fatisfaction which he hath made to divine juftice, we are restored to the favour of GoD, and our fins are pardoned to us, and we have a title to eternal life. Not but that there are conditions required on our part, to make us capable of thefe benefits, faith, and repentance, and fincere obedience and holiness of life, without which we shall never be made partakers of them: but that the fatisfaction of CHRIST is the only meritorious cause of these bleflings. And to persuade men to the belief of this, I fhall endeavour to fatisfy them of these two things.

I. That CHRIST hath properly merited these bleffings for us.

II. That he only hath done it. The firft of thefe propofitions is directly levelled against the Socinians : the second against the Papifts. I fhall fpeak but briefly of them.

I. That CHRIST hath properly merited thefe bleffings for us. And this being purely matter of revelation, we are to rely upon fcripture only for the proof of it. Matt. xx. 28. "The Son of man came VOL. XI.



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